NFL oddsmakers have installed the Green Bay Packers as three-point favorites Sunday at home against the New York Giants. A closer look at most of the numbers, though, would seem to indicate an advantage for the Giants in this critical NFC matchup.
The first advantage for the Giants is that they enter the game with the better record, 9-5 for New York vs. 8-6 for Green Bay. These are the two teams fighting for what looks like the final wild-card berth to the NFC playoffs, and the advantage heading into the game means the Giants can clinch the playoff spot with a victory.
Green Bay Packers Stats - Game Averages
|Off||23.8||352.2 (11th)||250.3 (8th)||101.9 (24th)|
|Def||15.7||309.4 (7th)||192.4 (3rd)||117.0 (19th-T)|
New York Giants Stats - Game Averages
|Off||25.7||383.9 (3rd)||239.0 (12th)||144.9 (5th)|
|Def||20.6||290.9 (2nd)||188.4 (2nd)||102.4 (10th)|
The Packers do get quarterback Aaron Rodgers back this week. He missed the Packers loss to New England Sunday with a concussion. Rodgers, though, should have his hands full with the New York pass rush. The Packers struggle mightily to run the ball (24th in the league with 101.9 yards per game), and if they cannot run the ball effectively the Giants will turn their fearsome pass rush (second in the league with 42 sacks) loos on Rodgers. Green Bay has surrendered 34 sacks thus far this season.
Defensively, the Packers are 19th in the league against the run, giving up 117 yards per game. With Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw running behind a solid offensive line, the Giants are fifth in the league with an average of 14.9 yards rushing per game. The Packers will need to find a way to neutralize the Giants running game if they are to have chance.
Here are a couple of other numbers for you to consider.
- Green Bay has lost six games this season by a total of 20 points, and is 5-16 under coach Mike McCarthy in games decided by four points or less.
- Even after Sunday's meltdown against Philadelphia the Giants are 50-5 under coach Tom Coughlin when leading after three quarters. Prior to Sunday the Giants had won all eight times this season they had a lead going into the fourth quarter.